Education: A human right

Every child has the right to an education and every person has the right to meet their basic learning needs for a lifetime.

Denying people access to education means depriving them of an elementary human right – and thus squandering development opportunities for individuals and society. Promoting education is therefore an important task of development policy.

What does education mean for the individual?

Education conveys basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic, enables further learning and promotes problem-solving thinking. It gives people not only skills that help them in every day, but also those that are important in working life.

Education is a key prerequisite for overcoming poverty. Education makes it easier for people to find work and earn their own income. Without education, families often remain poor for generations.

Knowledge is the basis for self-determined action and participation. Education is therefore also the foundation of a functioning democracy: people who can read and write take part more often in political and social processes and demand their personal rights.

What does education mean for the economy?

Education is an essential prerequisite for sustainable economic growth. Without education, people cannot develop their individual potential and acquire no specialist knowledge. Without a trained workforce, there can be no sustainable economic growth.

Higher education and research are the foundations for new knowledge and innovation. They help to make a country more competitive and to create new jobs.

What does education mean for society?

Only if all population groups have the same chance of education and prosperity can peaceful and self-determined coexistence arise. Education creates responsible citizens who stand up for their rights. For girls in particular, education improves their living situation. Education can also make an important contribution to the prevention of violence and peaceful coexistence.

Education is the engine for sustainable development in all its dimensions: economic, social, ecological and politico-cultural. Education enables people to understand complex relationships. It creates awareness of the need to protect the environment and use natural resources sustainably.

Education can also have a positive influence on the development of a country, for example in the areas of health and nutrition. Women with a higher level of education have their children later, they plan longer intervals between births and they seek medical care more often.